2023 General Education Teaching Awardees
Award in Innovation
The GECC is thrilled to recognize the work of Professor Joshua Rivkin with the Innovation in General Education Award. Dr. Rivkin sees the classroom as a space of experimentation and innovation. He centers student inquiry into all of his pedagogy. He is process-focused, intentionally designing ways for his students to ask big questions and explore, reflect on their learning, connect with their peers, and have a voice in the classroom. The GECC noted that this kind of process work in a classroom requires a community - and the instructor cannot create community and culture within the classroom on their own. Culture and community are developed among and between people. Dr. Rivkin intentionally invites his students to join in this effort – one seemingly small but significant example of a way he does this is by inviting students to use each other's names in the classroom, which supports students in recognizing their fellow student's identities and creating space for their voices.
Award in Excellence
The GECC was unanimous in its decision to award Professor Sydney Abbott the Excellence in General Education Award because it was abundantly clear that the value of general education and its immeasurable impact drives everything Dr. Abbott does. The GECC specifically recognizes her enormous contribution to the curriculum, serving 1500 undergraduate students each year. In her teaching statement, Professor Abbott notes that GE courses must go beyond mastery of the material – they need to include engagement with students in a way that builds competence and supports students in making connections between her course, their other courses, and majors, and the value this can bring to their lives. One of Dr. Abbott's students shared a rewarding example of this, describing how his current soccer coach better understood his Muslim athletes' training needs and limitations while fasting during Ramadan because the coach had taken the Cultural Aspects of Food course with Professor Abbott years before. Dr. Abbott truly exemplifies the possibilities in LARGE GE courses.